Ebola
By Christian Salthe
Humanity is constantly plagued with challenges and hurdles we must overcome, with things from war to explanations of creation. One huge challenge we are currently facing is treating and containing seemingly untreatable diseases. Diseases like HIV, Ebola, and cancer are Text Box: Figure 1 Christian Salthe and Ebolachris 1becoming more and more significant to us today, since Ebola is considered to be capable of an epidemic that makes it more dangerous. The Ebola virus has become somewhat of a big deal due to the recent outbreak in West Africa and a few cases here in the U.S. This is a big problem because we currently don’t have a cure for Ebola; although the numbers of infected aren’t massive the sure fact of non-treatability has many frightened. The Ebola virus is such a huge deal because, it is virtually untreatable, it can live outside the body very long, and can be somewhat easily transmitted.

                One reason Ebola is so feared is due to our inability to find an effective cure. We do try everything we can, giving painkillers and transferring plasma but 90% of people infected die and we don’t have any effective vaccine yet. And it will be difficult for us to make one because Ebola is very difficult to study. Also the fact that it is a virus already makes it more difficult for us to deal with, our antiviral vaccines are much harder to develop than antibacterial. Even if we made a vaccine we wouldn’t be certain it would work in the future, Ebola is quickly evolving and there are already 5 known species known. It is going to be a great challenge to try and control and quarantine the Ebola virus, for the most part if you get Ebola you have a very good chance of dyeing.

                Another frightening characteristic of the Ebola virus is its ability to live outside the body for a very long amount of time. Ebola can survive outside of the body in bodily fluids for up to 5 or so days. Imagine someone infected with Ebola sneezes on their hand and opens the bathroom door. If you where to touch this door and wipe your nose you have a good chance of then being infected with Ebola. Many viruses can only live outside the body for a day or less, Ebola lives nearly 5 times longer than that which is just another thing that makes this super virus even more frightening. This makes transmission not easy but very possible, it isn’t going to spread quickly but it will definitely spread if proper quarantine isn’t achieved.

                Lastly Ebola can be transmitted easily, and in west Africa is spreading and cases are coming up all over the globe. In some African tribes it is a tradition that everyone must touch the corpse of the person who died at a funeral. This is terrible if that person died of Ebola because it lives in dead bodies and will spread throughout the tribe people. This and many other reasons like poor sanitation have made Ebola spread throughout West Africa. And also makes its possibility to spread throughout the world even greater. All factors considered this is a big problem we need to figure out.

                Curing the Ebola virus is going to be a big struggle, its hard to observe and is constantly evolving. Its so strange one British scientist concluded it may be an alien from a meteor which would explain why we haven’t really seen much like this.  Although it isn’t greatly affecting people here in the U.S it very well could if people come over from West Africa. So we still need to be concerned with Ebola and as we cannot treat it just yet we need to contain it to just Africa and make sure it doesn’t start making a significant mark on the rest of the world. Than we would have a huge problem because we have no cure and most would just die. We need to make more awareness for Ebola so we can take care of this pandemic before its too late.